Time to make some sustainable New Year resolutions.

Written by Ali Fisher

2018 will go down in the history books as the year that Britain woke up to the problem of plastic pollution suffocating our environment. The anti-plastic movement has become so big it’s led the Collins Dictionary to declare ‘single-use’ as the word of the year.

Whether it’s the inspiration of Sir David Attenborough & Blue Planet II, Plasticus (the giant Sky Ocean whale made from ¼ of a tonne of plastic representing the amount of plastic entering our oceans every second!) or some holiday inspiration from a 2 Minute Beach Clean, Guildford is definitely on the case to fight plastic pollution. In 2017/18, Guildford recycled, reused or composted 58% of its waste, beating both the Surrey and UK average. Go, Guildfordians!

…the average Guildford resident throws away 347kgs of waste a year. Perhaps we could aim to make ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ the phrase of 2019.

But there is so much more to do, with the average Guildford resident still throwing away 347kgs of waste a year.
Perhaps we could aim to make ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ the phrase of 2019.

Let’s talk New Year’s resolutions! Taking better care of our planet didn’t hit the top 10 resolutions of 2018. It didn’t even pip ‘Focus more on appearance’ which came in at number 10! We definitely think it deserves a place in the 2019 line up.

So, here are our ‘Top 5 Tips’ to help Burpham residents with a New Year’s resolution to ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ more:

There’s a range of ideas here. Some might suit those just starting out on their journey to greater greenness. Others might be for those already sporting their superhero green capes. Regardless, if you can find a couple of ideas that resonate then you can make a big difference locally and beyond in 2019.

Leave the house‘reuse’ ready!

Make a reusable water bottle, coffee cup and carrier bag part of your everyday kit in 2019. For those who want to go the extra mile you could add a reusable straw, your own cutlery, tupperware and home-made snacks and lunches. Brits have already proven what a huge difference our Reuse efforts can make with single-use plastic bag purchases down by 85%, saving the nation from over 6 billion plastic polluting bags every year.

Start recycling the unrecyclable.

If you have already been bitten by the recycling bug and are frustrated that you can’t save more waste from your black bin, check out http://www.Terracycle.co.uk. They run recycling collection programmes with drop offs in the Guildford area for pouches, bottle pumps and sprays, biscuit and cake wrappers, wipes packets and much, much more. Just pop your postcode and waste item into their homepage search finder and you’re off and recycling! They are even promising crisp packet recycling for 2019 – important when you realise the UK munches its way through 6 billion plastic packets a year!

Cut through the recycling confusion.

Manufacturers are now widely adopting the On-Pack Recycling Labels so check your back of packs to help get the right products into the right bins!

Go green in the bathroom.

Research has shown that we know our kitchen recycling, with 90% of kitchen packaging being effectively recycled. By the way, kitchen foil makes up a significant chunk of the missing 10%! But it’s a different story in our bathrooms where we recycle just half of our packaging.

Only 1 in 5 people consistently recycle items from their bathroom.

Only 1 in 5 people consistently recycle items from their bathroom. Time for a second bin in the bathroom? Empty bottles of bleach, shampoo, conditioner, bathroom cleaner and hand soap can all be recycled. Just remember to remove any pumps from the bottles first.

Make 2019 a sharing year.

Sharing more with neighbours and friends is a way not just to help the environment and cut down on the amount of stuff we need and consume, but also a means to fight isolation and loneliness in our community. What do you have that could be shared – the latest DVD release, household tools, gardening equipment, left-over food and flowers pre-holidays? Community sharing can give great rewards to both the giver and receiver.

The top local authority in England for recycling, reusing and composting recycles 67% of its waste. Sounds like a good target for Guildford to aim for next.

So here’s to Burpham making 2019 the year of Reduce, Reuse & Recycle.

Sources:
www.surreycc.gov.uk/waste-and-recycling/information-about-our-waste-and-recycling-services/community-recycling-centres-recycling-statistics www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/plastic-bag-charge-pay-single-use-environment-recycling-a8467061.html www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-38856081 www.earth911.com/living-well-being/easier-recycle-may-think-shampoo-bottles/ www.recyclenow.com/news/2016-10-17-britain-fails-recycle-16-million-plastic-bottles-every-day www.letsrecycle.com/councils/league-tables/

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